Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor

Doctor Who is all new and shiny, there isn’t just a new Doctor in front of the screen, but there’s a new show runner/head writer, new companion, new tardis and even a new theme tune. While I’ve always enjoyed Doctor Who, I’ve never obsessed about it particularly, so I was more intrigued than excited or worried about these changes. That attitude pretty much remained throughout the episode, it was interesting, and I enjoyed it, but I was far from blown away.

I think my biggest disappointment was that it wasn’t different enough. While I thought Matt Smith and Karen Gillan did excellent jobs with their roles, I just wish they were a bit further removed from the doctors and companions we’ve seen in the new series so far. Catherine Tate made a great companion because she was different, it wasn’t just another young girl who may or may not be in love with the doctor. But here, on first glance at least, Amelia/Amy is just doing the wide eyed staring thing, while the Doctor grabs her by the hand and tells her to run. Why couldn’t the companion be someone from another planet, another time, another gender?

Meanwhile Matt Smith’s doctor just seemed a bit like ‘David Tennant Lite’. The excuse that he’s still “cooking” is a convenient one and I’m hoping he’ll continue to develop, but for this episode I felt a little as if he was doing an impression.

Having waited the whole episode to see inside the tardis, again, I just wasn’t blown away. The centre console thing looks like the old one – different random bits and bobs, but still fundamentally random stuff. The rest of the room was a bit too muddled for me, I couldn’t really get a decent idea of what the Design was. Again, I would have liked to see something very different, like the period study look from the TV movie, or even full on retro seventies. The old one felt organic somehow, as if you were actually inside a semi-alive alien ship.

That negativity aside, I did enjoy the episode. It maintained the previously established high standards of writing and acting, giving the characters a beautiful balance of vulnerability and courage, happiness and sadness. There was also a great moment of ‘yay’ when the Doctor called the aliens back and gave his rousing speech. The various hints for what’s coming looked interesting too, plenty of familiar faces/makeups.

Generally speaking I enjoyed the episode, if it hadn’t been built up as a new start I probably would have been absolutely fine with it, and I suspect within a few episodes I’ll have forgotten my disappointments, but for now I feel a bit ‘meh’ about it.

Miscellaneous things:

  • What was Matt Smith actually eating when he appeared to be dunking fishfingers in custard?
  • Why wasn’t David Tennant in the flash through of previous doctors? (an otherwise very cool sequence and speech)
  • I liked the village, felt a lot more like old school Dr Who, and as they said in the confidential, it’s nice to get out of Cardiff/London
  • The ‘doctors eye view’ was also cool, even more so knowing from the confidential that they did it in stop motion with hundreds of individual photos
  • “you’re Scottish, fry something”
  • There was some interesting lighting/colouring going on in the opening scenes, which made it feel even more like it was from the child’s point of view.
  • How to say this without coming across a prude… I could have done without the lingering shots of the new companion’s short skirt and legs.
  • But on the other hand… kiss-a-gram? How wonderfully BBC on a Saturday evening ;0)
  • Anyone else notice the very prominent MYTH (with a psi for the Y) logo on the laptop. I have a hunch that may prove important, and if it does I want everyone to know that I commented on it immediately, I have witnesses!
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  1. January 2nd, 2011
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